Posts Tagged favorite four

Given recent news events, the privacy of our data and just who has the ability to look at it is a growing concern. Many services that we use are proprietary creations, often served by corporations who may be willing (or forced) to distribute data transmitted through these services to governments or corporations. Now, for the security and privacy conscious, using iOS is probably not recommended because it is running on a proprietary OS and only allows apps that Apple specifically approves. However, for those who are more moderate on issues of privacy and security especially considering the closed-source nature of iOS as a whole. Thankfully, there’s a variety of services that can replace ones you currently use with open-source and more secure alternatives. Here’s four privacy-friendly replacement apps for iOS.

DuckDuckGoDuckDuckGo: Google’s whole business model is based around the fact that they use and sell data to sell more advertisments. DuckDuckGo is an anonymous search engine that is also partially open-source. The app allows for searches to be made, and top stories from the engine’s sources are available in a Readability-powered format, though this can be disabled for those concerend about just what Readability is doing with article reading data.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2013-06-27 :: Category: Reference

OpenMapOpenMap: Powered by OpenStreetMaps, this app provides access to the open source mapping project’s series of maps that are freely-available. While the official website offers a mobile-friendly version, the app provides another advantage: it supports the ability to edit the maps, helping to clear up errors and contributing to the project as a whole. As well, maps can be saved for offline use. All this without possibly transmitting data back to Google or Apple who may be using it for unknown purposes.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-03-10 :: Category: Navigation

ChatSecureChatSecure: Just because you’re concerned about security doesn’t mean you can’t be social. This universal IM client supports multiple IM clients both open and proprietary with secure “off-the-record” chat that encrypts messages to keep away prying eyes. The app is open source as well, for those who like their software free as in freedom (well, as free as App Store software gets) as well as free as beer. Even for those not concerned about privacy so much, a free multi-protocol IM app is hard to pass up.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-12-17 :: Category: Social Networking

MumbleMumble: Sometimes text chat just won’t do. So Mumble brings low-latency, secure, open source voice chat that’s also cross-platform to iOS users. Connect to a public or private server with other users of the service and enjoy free, secure, voice chatting. Sure, it was designed for gaming, but hey, doesn’t mean you can’t use it to have important chats. Or chat while playing games too. Even privacy advocates gotta unwind somehow.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-02-13 :: Category: Social Networking

When the App Store first launched, five years ago, many of us were merely pleased to see any kind of game on there. It hadn’t really occurred to anyone just what could really be done here. After all, so many years of Snake clones and earlier mobile versions of Gameloft titles, only go so far. 5 years later, we now know that some very impressive titles from the console and PC gaming catalogue can be converted across, and with some impressive results. Here’s a look at our favorite four surprising console ports.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Arguably the most impressive port yet, the recently released XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a truly stunning game. Besides being one of the finest Turn Based Strategy games in years, its conversion is second to none. Touch screen controls are perfectly implemented here, and no compromises have needed to be taken. Those used to $0.99 purchases might feel it’s a trifle expensive at $19.99, but there are a ridiculous number of hours of enjoyment to be had here.

$9.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-06-20 :: Category: Games

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
A delightful surprise for many, when it leapt onto the App Store, this classic BioWare RPG still stands tall today. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic won’t hold its players’ hands, potentially confusing newer games, but it’s worth figuring out. It offers an exceptional story based gaming experience, the kind of which is rarely seen. The controls might not be perfect here, but it’s forgivable thanks to being such a brilliant game.

$9.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-05-30 :: Category: Games

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Rockstar Games has done a fine job of converting some of its titles to iOS. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is the pinnacle, thus far. The strongest and most popular of GTA titles, it looks stunning on iOS as well as offers some appropriate controls to ensure everything feels smooth and well focused here. Most importantly, it’s an ideal example of a title no one would have really expected to see five years ago.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-12-06 :: Category: Games

Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD
It might not have the graphical prowess of the other entries here, but Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD was quite the delightful surprise when it made its way to iOS in its full entirety. Capcom has released many great console ports to iOS, but this one just about fought off the Street Fighter series for top spot. The series is like little else out there, requiring players to take the role of an attorney, as they explore crime scenes and use evidence appropriately throughout the court case. The adaptation is stunning, and a worthy example of how DS games can be translated to iOS.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-05-30 :: Category: Games

The past five years have seen the App Store’s library of available titles grow from a respectable 500-800 (July, 2008) to an almost inconceivable 1,000,000-plus. Of course the larger a software library gets, especially on a platform abundant with independent developers, the more likely for things to get weird. I mean really weird. With that in mind, here’s a list of four of the App Store’s most bizarre releases spread out over the last five years.

Tomena Sanner (2009)
It’s not the first runner to show up on the App Store, but it’s definitely one of the weirder ones. Guiding an energetic business man through levels filled with cowboys, dinosaurs, and even stranger obstacles is interesting enough. However, he doesn’t just leapfrog over robots and aliens and such; he dances with them. He dances with pretty much everything. And if he makes it to the end of the level in time, he dances there, too.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-23 :: Category: Games

Enviro-Bear 2010 (2010, obviously)
Anyone who’s familiar with Enviro-Bear 2010 should know that it’s impossible to create a list of off-the-cuff weird iOS games and not include it. I mean it looks weird enough as it is. Actually playing it is a whole other bundle of weird as players control a bear’s hand as it attempts to drive around the woods gathering food for the winter. Food that falls in through the car’s sunroof as the bear runs into things, that then has to be eaten using the bear’s one and only paw that’s needed for accelerating/steering/braking/everything else.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-07-08 :: Category: Games

NOM 5 (2011)
NOM 5 is basically the App Store’s most disjointed and surreal runner. It’s running and obstacle avoidance coupled with complete sensory overload, and the plot makes about as much sense as trying to imagine the personal relationship between a squirrel and the tree it’s climbing. Even that would probably make more sense than anything to be seen here. If you’re looking for something that makes so little sense it’s actually a little unnerving, look no further.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-25 :: Category: Games

Quadropus Rampage (2013)
Rounding out the list is a game about a very angry four-armed octopus on a quest to destroy Pete, the evil god of the sea. The bizarre creatures that make up Pete’s army aren’t about to make things easy, though. You’ll have to grab whatever weapons you can find (including flaming swords, guitars, sticks, and frogs) and make good use of your starfish companion if you’re to have any chance of reaching Pete at the bottom of his ocean kingdom. It’s probably the most “normal” game on this list, but the story and the world are still surreal enough for it to count.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-06-14 :: Category: Games

Favorite Four: Match-3 Games

The Match-3 genre is often quite maligned these days. Criticized for being repetitive and unoriginal, I’m out to prove that’s not the case. There are plenty of imaginative reinterpretations of the familiar genre, and here’s a look at four of the best.

Bejeweled
OK, so Bejeweled is pretty standard Match-3 fodder. It’s also the best purist interpretation out there, ensuring hours of fun for any jewel matching fan. There’s no storyline to follow or anything complex like that. Just a series of modes focused on matching similarly colored gems to each other. It’s pure, it’s simple and it’s a great time waster.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-12-08 :: Category: Games

Scurvy Scallywags
Ably demonstrating the variety that Match-3 gaming can offer, Scurvy Scallywags combines pirates, the classic humor of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert and, of course, Match-3 gameplay. It’s great fun and surprisingly deep, thanks to the ability to build new ships and explore side quests. Particular joy stems from the customization options available for those who want to create their own personalized pirate.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-06-06 :: Category: Games

10000000
It might be a little difficult to remember how many zeros need to go in the title, but everything else about 10000000 is very memorable. It’s a dungeon crawling game that combines Match-3 style sensibilities to create a potently addictive title. Plenty of upgrades and objectives are available to keep one playing into the night, even if you started playing that morning.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-07-25 :: Category: Games

Triple Town
Like precious little else out there in the Match-3 genre, Triple Town is an unique proposition. The player’s sole objective is to grow the biggest possible city, all via matching three or more game-pieces. Combine three pieces of grass and make a bush, with three bushes turning into a tree and so forth. It really is quite original stuff, and strangely addictive too. Who would have thought that matching a few tiles of the same shape could do so much?

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-01-19 :: Category: Games

Only got a minute or two to spare but want to get some fun gaming in? Why not try one of these four titles, all focused on providing maximum satisfaction in less than two minutes. They all have the bonus of being ideal for score chasers, given that the main objective is to beat one’s friends’ high scores. Plus, almost all of them have the word Blitz in their title, to remind us of just what genre they form a part of!

Bejeweled Blitz
The ruler of all great time wasters, the Bejeweled series knows how to draw players in for short bursts. This is most evident with Bejeweled Blitz, a game solely focused on seeing what high scores players can create in a matter of 60 seconds. Played well, it’s a fast paced title, full of special gems such as Hypercubes and Flame gems. Coins dictate the bonuses that can be used, but never fear, there’s a daily spin game to offer up extras for those unkeen to delve into the in-app purchases available.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-12-07 :: Category: Games

Solitaire Blitz
Mostly responsible for any time that I procrastinate like crazy, Solitaire Blitz is quite the addiction. The classic card game of Solitaire is combined with a series of power-ups and a tight time limit, all in the name of score chasing. It’s a potent mix, mostly because it’s so easy to get to grips with. An energy system might restrict how many times one can play it during one session, but with only a minute or so to spare for gaming, that’s not really a problem, right?

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-03-20 :: Category: Games

Dots: A Game About Connecting
Ok, so connecting dots doesn’t sound very exciting. Dots bucks that trend, though. Players must draw a line between matching dots and watch the points trickle in. Form a square with such dots, however, and the points start flooding through. It’s immensely simple but that’s exactly why Dots is so much fun. It’s ideal as a palate cleanser to life, when one just needs to take some time out from reality and delve into the world of dot connecting.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-04-30 :: Category: Games

Tetris Blitz
Ok, so Tetris Blitz isn’t perfect, thanks to its overenthusiastic in-app purchases making mostly everyone a little cynical. It is great fun, though, and an ideal way to spend two minutes. We all know the drill now: clear lines by placing blocks together, accrue as many points as possible in the time limit. Purists may be disappointed to see some of the power-ups available, but Tetris Blitz still offers some of the old-school magic we all know so well.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-05-23 :: Category: Games

Favorite Four: Golfing Apps

With the Golf season in full swing (yes, I went there), thanks to the recent US Open amongst others, now is the ideal time to check out some great apps to help golfers or just to help them keep up to date with all the news from the professional field. Here’s our favorite four of the bunch.

GolfLogix GPS
It might not be an entirely free solution, given some of the best features require a subscription fee, but GolfLogix GPS is certainly comprehensive. It tracks scoring and the handicap of each player, shows personalized lessons after every round, as well as analysis. Offering information for 32,000 golf courses around the world, with the ability to track every shot (for a price), completes the package nicely, ensuring you always knows what’s going on.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-07-30 :: Category: Sports

myGolfLeaderboard
Offering similar functionality to GolfLogix GPS, myGolfLeaderboard has a trump card up its sleeve: the ability for other golfers to watch the changing leaderboard for the match, all in real time. It’s possible to set things up on the clubhouse TV, with the relevant equipment, proving ideal for amateur competitions via the event creation tool. Plus, it’s entirely free and offers some useful stat tracking tools for 15,000 courses.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-12-21 :: Category: Sports

Everyday Golf Coach
In need of some advice for improving your swing? Everyday Golf Coach has it covered. The app offers dozens of coaching videos to help keen amateurs improve their game, with advice from how to chip correctly to how to get the ball to curve the way the golfer wants it to. There’s swing analysis too, for those able to get a friend for record their swing. It’s then possible to compare the technique to the varied model library, and figure out where it’s all going wrong. With simple instructions, it could make all the difference to your handicap.

$5.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-03-26 :: Category: Sports

Golf Channel
For those more interested in how the professionals are doing, the Golf Channel app should suffice. It offers all the latest articles, blogs and analysis on everything imaginable, making it simple for users to follow their favorite players across all the major tours. Behind the scenes videos and photo galleries further help matters. Oh, and there’s still space for it to offer some great tips for budding enthusiasts, too!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-13 :: Category: Sports

With tennis season in full swing, thanks to Wimbledon’s arrival this week and the US Open in the near future, tennis fans will be understandably keen to try out a variety of great apps and games related to the subject. So, we’ve taken a look at what’s out there and rounded up our four favorites, comprising of a mixture of gaming and factual experiences.

Stickman Tennis
Starting on a light hearted note, don’t expect realism here. Do expect fun, though. Stickman Tennis is a simple yet enjoyable tennis game, offering an almighty battle between stickmen people. Despite the cartoonish looks, it’s still possible to hit top spins, slices, lobs and all the other correct shots. The complete season offers 64 tournaments so there’s plenty to do, too!

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-05-22 :: Category: Games

The Championships, Wimbledon 2013
Official apps aren’t always that great, but this one certainly bucks the trend. Besides offering the usual supply of live scores, results, statistics and a schedule of events, The Championships, Wimbledon 2013 also includes on demand video previews, daily radio coverage, and time-lapse photography from the grounds. For those who want to see everything to Wimbledon, it’s even possible to check out 360 degree photos and videos of the grounds.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2013-06-20 :: Category: Sports

The Tennis App
Inspired to take up tennis or improve your skills? The Tennis App has it covered. Detailed instructions are offered for every stroke here, from topspin to volleys and overhead shots. A video overview of each stroke is included, along with an animation sequence and focus on key components of the move. It works just as well for left-handed players as it does right-handed, too.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-03-20 :: Category: Sports

TouchSports Tennis
Offering a more realistic look to Stickman Tennis, TouchSports Tennis is a fun 3D interpretation of the sport. 3 courts are available to choose from, as well as 6 different players. It’s easy to learn to play, thanks to a combination of touch and tilt controls keeping things intuitive throughout. More importantly, it’s really rather fun.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-11-15 :: Category: Sports

As a soccer fan, I’m getting twitchy. The Confederations Cup might be helping a little, but I miss the English Premier League week in, week out. This is where I sink time into FIFA 13 on my console in order to counteract the problem. What about while on the move, though? Here’s a look at my favorite 4 soccer games, each offering a slightly different take on the beautiful game.

New Star Soccer
The current King of sleep deprivation causes, New Star Soccer is a soccer fan’s dream game. Instead of managing an entire team, players focus on one person: themselves, as they build up their skills and talents, hopefully working their way up from the lower leagues to great success. The controls are simple yet rewardingly satisfying, with the winning goal consistently sweet to score. There’s life simulation included too, with the need to keep the boss happy as well as spend some hard earned money on fun leisure pursuits.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-03-13 :: Category: Games

Active Soccer
Older gamers will remember before the days of FIFA’s hold, when graphics weren’t so great but gameplay was King, courtesy of the likes of Kick Off and Sensible Soccer. Active Soccer encapsulates that spirit and brings it to the iOS format. It’s the controls that shine through most here, keeping it simple with minimal virtual buttons and a virtual joystick that allows players to curl shots in without any AI assistance. It’ll take a bit of practice to master, but it’s enjoyable stuff.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-12-14 :: Category: Games

Football Manager Handheld 2013
The master of soccer management, the Football Manager series has been highly addictive for many years, and caused many a sleepless night. The handheld variety has improved year on year, with 2013 proving quite the fascinating title. Besides the full career mode, it’s possible to dive into the Challenge Mode for more bite-sized gaming, offering a clear goal. For those wanting to take on the mantle of Sir Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourhino, Football Manager Handheld 2013 is an unmissable game.

$6.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-12-13 :: Category: Games

Score! World Goals
Ever wanted to be responsible for a match winning goal? Score! World Goals skips past all the build up play, focusing on the bit that counts. Taking players through a large selection of historical matches, Score! World Goals is part puzzle game, part arcade line drawer. Success is dictated by the player’s ability to draw the correct route between players on the pitch, in order to pass appropriately and eventually score. Things start out pretty simple, but it gets more complicated thanks to more advanced stages, as well as the quest for the 3 Star completion record, so beloved of puzzle games.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-05-17 :: Category: Games

With the recent release of Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom, it seemed like the perfect time to take a look at our favourite four Adventure Game Book Apps. The Forest of Doom isn’t included here, but consider it a bonus 5th, representing just how great all the Fighting Fantasy conversions are. The Adventure Game Book genre is a strong one on the App Store, so it’s been a tough battle narrowing things down!

Sorcery!
Only part one of four has been released so far, but Sorcery! is a great conversion of the much loved series by Steve Jackson. There are nearly 50 spells to learn, plenty of decisions to make and a gripping story throughout. The combat might take a moment or two to click, deviating from typical dice throwing methods, but it all adds to the already beautiful visuals. It’s a quite captivating tale.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-05-02 :: Category: Games

Trial of the Clone
One of two titles featuring here from, unofficial App Store Kings of the genre, Tin Man Games: Trial of the Clone is a rare thing in the gaming world: a genuinely funny title. Written by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal creator, Zach Weinersmith, and including the voice of Wil Wheaton, the artistic pedigree is as strong as the content. Telling the story of a clone making its way in a futuristic world, it’s an unique tale that is ideal to play again and again, seeking out new endings.

$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-04-16 :: Category: Books

Underground Kingdom
Less focused on combat than the others, Underground Kingdom is the re-imagining of the first Choose Your Own Adventure book, a series popular in the 1970s and 1980s. 23 different endings are available to find, as players explore an alien world in this attractive storybook style app. The artwork is particularly appealing and while it’s a shorter read than some of the others here, it’s an ideal way to remember a classic series.

$1.99
$2.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2013-01-15 :: Category: Books

Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106
It was a close run thing between this and one of the Fighting Fantasy titles, but the Judge has just about inched ahead. Understandably for such a violent theme, there’s plenty of dice rolling based combat here, alongside appropriate visuals capturing the spirit of Judge Dredd well. What makes it stand out all the more, however, is the record sheets that come with each perp either killed or arrested. There’s always that urge to play another game, just to try to fill the database. Adventure fans, as well as comic book fans, will love this.

$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-08-01 :: Category: Games

Freemium city-building games have been hugely popular on the App Store for nearly as long as the App Store has been around. With their trickle feeding approach to progress, and that temptation to spend real money to expand one’s virtual empire, it’s no wonder that everyone ends up intrigued. Like any genre, though, there are good and bad examples. I take a look at four of my favorite city or village builders.

CityVille Hometown
The mighty behemoth of Zynga starts us off, courtesy of the rather charming CityVille Hometown. Players focus on building up their town, keeping the residents happy and getting new people involved. There’s a little bit of everything here with decorating, farming and business growth all playing a part. Keeping things focused on the residents gives the game a suitably homely feel.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-30 :: Category: Games

PLAYMOBIL Pirates
When I was a child, I adored playing with Playmobil, creating stories with the constantly happy, plastic people. PLAYMOBIL Pirates brings such fun to iOS with players able to develop their own pirate camp, recruit new members of the crew and complete a variety of fun missions. Yes, it’s not city building in the conventional sense, but it’s charming and cute. The allure of in-app purchases isn’t too strong either, with patience fixing that problem.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-12-13 :: Category: Games

My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic
A series that has benefited from quite a resurgence in recent times, My Little Pony transfers the city building motif to Ponyville. Usual village building techniques play a role here, but it’s all backed up by a selection of mini-games which keep things more interactive than most. The cute factor is off the scale, too!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-11-08 :: Category: Games

Pixel People
Quite different from the others in the list, Pixel People is more focused on the genetic splicing of people rather than village building, but it’s still an important part of progression. There’s charm aplenty here, plus immediately accessible yet addictive gameplay, with players combining characters to create new ones. It’ll take quite a while to collect every single one of the over 200 characters, as well as some careful thought, but it’s terrific fun along the way.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-01-31 :: Category: Games

Hey, that iPad of yours has a nice big screen. Why keep it all to yourself? Grab some friends and play some games together with them! Here’s four of my favorites.

fingleFingle: It’s time to get intimate with this two-player iPad game. It starts out simply enough: each person moves their finger to the dashed box on screen. Sure, we can do that! Then multiple fingers get involved. Then the target boxes keep moving. Then the targets move in and out of the other person’s hand, and action is getting incredibly touchy-feely here. Oh, and the game’s use of innuendo means that it knows what’s up. So grab a friend and be ready to become really close…or make things really awkward. Great memories or terrible memories are sure to come.

$2.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-01-12 :: Category: Games

BloopBloop: Some of these games are fun for just two people, but here’s one for up to four people. The objective? Each player picks a color on the screen, and when the action starts, they need to tap it whenever it pops up. Oh, and the colors are rapidly popping up all throughout the game, so reacting quickly to where colors are coming up is extremely important! Expect to be shoving others’ arms out of the way all while playing this. It’s got the best facets of an iPad multiplayer game: an easy concept to pick up on and plenty of chaos that creates for memorable moments.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-04-26 :: Category: Games

MonkeyBoxing-6Monkey Boxing: Sure, abstract competition is great. But sometimes friends just need to beat each other up by using simian avatars. That’s exactly what this game provides, with two players on one iPad. The two-button gameplay is easy to dive in to, and there’s enough variety to keep things from ever being monotonous. Don’t just jump in to the game, though. Make sure to customize your monkey’s outfit before fighting. Half of success is looking good while doing so. That’s a fact.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-04-18 :: Category: Games

Hundreds-7Hundreds: This is something of an out-of-left-field choice in that it’s not really a multiplayer game, right? Well, what you made you think that it was explicitly a singleplayer game? Given that the game is very much based around multitouch, get some other people and try to solve some of the fiendish challenges that the game throws out. However, more independently-working fingers means more opportunities to screw up, so it really just brings a different approach to the title that can really change the game.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-01-03 :: Category: Games

With the arrival of Mothers Day, children everywhere will be scrambling to show their appreciation. Perhaps consider one of these iOS options as well. Not that they’d replace quality time, of course. By all means go and treat your mom to a nice dinner, give her a call, or whatever else you were planning to do. We just ask you to consider adding one (or all) of these digital possibilities to your Mother’s Day plan.

fav4mom01Flower Garden
Who doesn’t think of getting their mom some flowers on Mothers Day? Nobody, that’s who. Flower Garden allows users to grow their own flora, as well as acquire new seeds for more exotic (and in some cases fictitious) examples. After some TLC they can then harvest their flowers and create a bouquet. A bouquet they can send to anyone on their Contacts list. And if the price seems a bit steep don’t fret; there’s a possibility (nothing official, just guessing) that it may go on sale like it did last Mothers Day.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-04-10 :: Category: Games

fav4mom02Let’s create! Pottery HD
Mom always likes it when you make her stuff. She always held on to that hideous ashtray you made for her back when you were in first grade, even though she doesn’t smoke. Now you can shower her with a ton of virtual ceramics without the hassle of any cleanup. Much like Flower Garden it’s possible to send photos of a piece to anyone you want, including mom. Unlike Flower Garden it’s also possible to give a particular favorite physical form through a little in-app purchase of some 3D printing.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-07-16 :: Category: Entertainment

fav4mom03Cards
Moms also like to get cards. Not just on Mothers Day, either. Downloading Apple’s official custom card creation app is practically a no-brainer for such an occasion. And as an added bonus you can send her customized greeting cards of the family/kids year-round. Think about that: the ability to send your mom personalized (and physical) greeting cards whenever you’d like, for any occasion. All without having to browse through the paltry selection at the store.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-12 :: Category: Lifestyle

fav4mom04ComicBook!
Giving your mom some eFlowers or making her a card is cool and all, but putting together a comic book that chronicles your adventures fighting crime (or even something a bit more tame) is just plain fun. I dare any moms out there not to laugh, or at least crack a smile, when their sons or daughters present them with the first issue of The Incredible Mom, Spidermom, or even Iron Mom.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-07-05 :: Category: Photography

In the midst of planning a vacation for the near-future? You lucky person, you. There are plenty of apps keen to help people along their way, but I take a look at four of my favorites for taking some of the effort out of the experience. In exchange, all I ask is to be able to sneak into someone’s suitcase for the trip. No? OK then, just enjoy the read instead then!

TripDeck
Aiming to be the Swiss Army Knife of travel organization, TripDeck is an itinerary planner, allowing users to manage their hotel reservations, car rentals, flights, cruises, restaurants and meetings, all in one place. Early access is offered for details such as check-in times and baggage claim information, amongst many other things. Plenty of contact numbers and maps are easily accessible too, for the easily worried. Best of all, for those travelling with others, it’s easy to share all this information.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-12 :: Category: Travel

Suitcases
Packing is often a much bigger task than anyone anticipates, especially if there are children or other dependents that need to be organized. Suitcases is one handy app for such a task. It’s a very simple list based app, dividing items into categories right down to reminders of things to do before leaving, as well as the all important stuff that needs to be packed. Being able to split suitcases up according to the type of trip proves particularly useful for regular visits.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-02-22 :: Category: Travel

GetPacked
The other ideal packing app is a little more expensive but it’s also more featured packed, encouraging users to figure out what they need by asking them a series of questions. A customized packing list is offered once some answers have been supplied, giving users a great starting point for what they need to do next. It’s just as easy to add extra information, too.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-06-10 :: Category: Travel

Triposo
Whether you’ve made it to your destination or you’re still figuring out where to go, Triposo is a handy app to consult. It offers a series of free travel guides to many different cities and countries. There’s an overview map for the country, along with detailed information for major cities, useful phrases, and even a currency convertor. It’s a great starting point for ideas of where to visit, places to dine at and places to stay.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-11-04 :: Category: Travel

Make your voice be heard! Or perhaps your music as well. Whatever sounds you need to record, there’s an app to make that happen. Here are four of our favorites.

iSaidWhatiSaidWhat?!: I’ve used probably 6 different iOS devices over the past 3 years, and the list of apps that I’ve installed on all of them is short; iSaidWhat?! is on all of them. This audio recorder is perfect for recording audio anywhere and everywhere from the iPhone or the iPad (though it’s not universal, it still works), with the ability to trim files down. But really, the reason why it’s so great? It’s possible to reduce the gain on the mic, so in particularly noisy situations, it’s possible to prevent audio clipping. It’s perfect for loud situations, and makes it the app that I keep using. It could use a modern update, but it’s still great.

$3.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-12-19 :: Category: Business

GarageBandGarageBand: Want to record some music? Why not use Apple’s mobile version of their famous music app? It supports recording through the mic port, including from third-party accessories like iRig for guitar, and external microphones. As well, there’s MIDI support for using devices like keyboards with the app. When it’s all arranged, the files can be exported to SoundCloud, to a desktop iTunes library, or even to Facebook and YouTube.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-10 :: Category: Music

MixlrMixlr: Pre-recorded audio is for suckers. To paraphrase Bill O’Reilly: “We’ll do it live!” This app is perfect for that. Just fire up the app on iPhone, and start broadcasting over wifi or 3G/4G/LTE! Want to play music for strangers on the internet? Go for it! Want to start up a live podcast with friends? Sure! Just have random grumblings and rantings that need to be shared with people right now? This app is perfect for that as well. The audio can then be saved for posterity to SoundCloud, Mixcloud, or Dropbox. The revolution will be broadcast live!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-12-19 :: Category: Music

AudioNoteAudioNote: Need to take some notes with the audio you record? This app is a perfect choice to use with it. You can record audio and type notes along with the recording. Best of all, it’s possible to tap on text and go right to that part of the recording. It’s great for transcription or taking notes in class. Plus, the app is universal, giving it an advantage over the similar Notability.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-04-29 :: Category: Productivity

Taking photos with your iOS device is immensely useful and often produces good results. Nothing can quite beat the power of a DSLR camera, however, as much as many apps try. Switching to a full DSLR camera doesn’t mean having to leave iOS devices alone, though, as there are plenty of great apps to make taking good photos even easier. We take a look at four apps ideally suited for helping photographers.

Triggertrap
It’s not quite as free as the price suggests, given users need to buy a separate Mobile Dongle, but for those with a compatible camera, Triggertrap is an ideal tool for activating one’s DSLR camera remotely. Even better, it offers plenty of options so that it’s simple to initialize a long-exposure HDR shot, adjust the time-lapse or distance-lapse, as well as even trigger at the sound of a handclap. It’s a very effective app.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-04-29 :: Category: Photography

Master Your DSLR Camera
Learning all about how to use a DSLR camera is an important part of capturing great images. Master Your DSLR Camera is a great, coffee-table-esque app with plenty of advice. With a mixture of text based advice, HD video tutorials and great imagery, there’s a lot to take in. Fortunately, it’s all clearly explained and easy to browse. Plenty of situational advice is offered too, courtesy of 25 common shooting scenarios via the app’s cheat sheet section.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-12-16 :: Category: Photography

SetMyCamera Pro
Besides offering similar remote triggering facilities to TriggerTrap, SetMyCamera Pro also comes with plenty of ways to figure out the Depth of Field calculations required to take a great photo. Alongside that, it offers Shutter Speed recommendations, Field of View assistance and a distance unit conversion calculator. With plenty of functionality, it should make photographic calculations a lot simpler.

Photo Academy
A little like Master Your DSLR Camera, Photo Academy lends itself to quick consultations while out and about. There’s plenty of detailed advice on how to achieve the best composition, as well as tips on specific subjects. Alongside that is a great guide to the best settings according to each topic, plus a glossary of important terms. Users wanting to track their experience can record their expeditions in the Shoot Diary, while also recording notes on how they feel they did and what settings worked best for them.

$3.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-18 :: Category: Photography

As interesting (and surprisingly tough) as it was to put together a list of RPGs that have nothing to do with fantasy stuff, that’s no reason to ignore more “typical” examples of the genre. So now we’re back to fantasy RPGs in all their kobold-bashing, dragon-taming, evil-conquering, zombie-slaughtering glory. I’ll admit that none of the games on this list is a real “traditional” role playing game, but they’re all still RPGs (of a sort) and all chock full of fantasy goodness.

dragonisland09Dragon Island Blue
If you’re ever in the mood to hunt down and capture dangerous monsters, delve through perilous dungeons, and create the ultimate team of badass creatures then Dragon Island is the place to be. Most if not all of the enemies (and by extension potential allies) are fairly typical fantasy archetypes, but they each manage to look so much cooler than the typical examples and feature a pretty diverse range of abilities. Constructing a well-balanced team with complementary skills is a must for higher level encounters.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-08-30 :: Category: Games

nimbleNimble Quest
An action RPG crossed with Snake. Who would’ve thought such a combination would work so well? Nimble Quest might feature plenty of typical fantasy baddies (i.e. bats, skeletons, evil wizards, etc), but its emphasis on a conga line procession of heroes with their own unique abilities really sets it apart. It’s also one of the few action RPGs where I’ve found the super-frail magic wielders to be easier to use than the melee fighters.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-03-28 :: Category: Games

fav4rpg_brogueBrogue
Roguelikes are something of an acquired taste, but those who can learn to accept their brutal difficulty and typically steep learning curves will be able to enjoy virtually limitless hours of dungeon exploration and desperate fights for survival. So why Brogue and not any of the other fantastic examples of the genre that are also on the App Store? Well first off it manages to make use of its ASCII visuals to create some truly impressive-looking environments. Secondly it’s high fantasy to the core; filled with kobolds, goblins, wands, spell scrolls, and more.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2013-03-21 :: Category: Games

fav4rpg_slayinSlayin
Slayin might be the least traditional RPG on the list but it’s possibly the most fun by virtue of its addictive arcade style gameplay. All the expected baddies make an appearance here – slimes, bats, dragons, minotaurs, etc – and all are ready to fall before your sword in the name of the almighty High Score. Character levels are constantly climbing, and enemies are always getting more numerous and aggressive, equating to one crazy bite-sized action RPG.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-04-04 :: Category: Games

Favorite Four: Non-Fantasy RPGs

RPGs are incredibly popular, and probably will be for quite some time to come. The weird thing is that for some reason people seem to have trouble adapting the genre’s concepts into a world that isn’t full of magic, goblins, dragons, and so on. These games certainly do exist but they’re few and far between, especially on iOS. Hence our shoutout to four of our favorite iOS RPGs that aren’t saturated with dwarfs and elves and such.

fav4nonfantasy_missioneuropaMission Europa Collector’s
One part dungeon crawler, another part shooter, a sprinkling of horror, and a ton of stat driven RPG elements make up this offbeat adventure. Players must brave the abandoned tunnels of Jupiter’s moon as they attempt to piece together what happened to the crew that was initially stationed there, as well as try not to get torn to pieces by the hideous amalgamations of rotting flesh and electronics that continue to roam the halls. It’s a very action and loot-heavy RPG with nary an orc to be found.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-15 :: Category: Games

fav4nonfantasy_corporatefuryCorporate Fury
When a new CEO takes over a company, they can sometimes really shake up the way things are done. Corporate Fury takes that concept to a whole new level when salary men (and women) are forced to fight each other one-on-one for every little thing. Want a promotion? Then beat the snot out of the person above you. Thinking of passing that report along to the intern? You’d better hope they’re a pushover. Amidst all the goofy violence and mayhem players can improve their character with new skills, equipment, and combat moves as they attempt to fight their way to the top of the corporate ladder, leaving a trail of broken bodies in their wake.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-08-25 :: Category: Games

cq_rainslick03Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3
Zeboyd’s latest convention-defying RPG might be full of all sorts of fantastical creatures, but they include things like mollusks with a love of mimes and giant crab-wizards. It’s a vaguely steampunk world filled with semi-Cthulhian horrors and a remarkably goofy sense of humor, not a series of dark forests filled with giant spiders and ogres. There’s still plenty of evil afoot only this time it’s a bit less conventional, as are the protagonists and their rampant multi-classing.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-10-24 :: Category: Games

fav4nonfantasy_theworldendswithyouThe World Ends with You: Solo Remix
When putting together a list of non-fantasy RPGs I knew I just had to include The World Ends with You. It’s a fantastic RPG in its own right that still manages to set itself apart from most other titles in the genre thanks to its style, music, characters, and plot. And it all takes place in modern day Shibuya as Neku and his accomplices attempt to survive the Reaper’s game and save themselves from a horrible fate.

$17.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-08-27 :: Category: Games

Favorite Four: Pixel Worlds

Like it or not (I personally like it), retro-inspired pixel graphics are here to stay. A lot of people love the nostalgia that comes with such visuals, but it’s also interesting to see how pixel artists interpret different ideas. They can squeeze a surprising amount of detail out of a few well-placed squares. This list chronicles four of the pixilated worlds we find the most impressive. Not just the characters, mind, but the overall artistic style of their universe.

fav4pixel_arrangerArranger
I’ll admit that it’s a bit rough around the edges. Some of the mechanics aren’t fully realized and the movement controls, while much better after an update, are still a bit tough to use. However this is a list about fantastic, pixilated worlds, and Arranger has definitely got that. Part homage to Atari classics, part acid trip through a 1970s arcade cabinet, it’s nothing it not incredibly imaginative and unique.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-11-15 :: Category: Games

fav4pixel_pixelkingdomPixel Kingdom
I know I’ve already mentioned how much I love the visuals in Pixel Kingdom but I’m going to reiterate because I really love them. Capturing so much personality and charm in characters that sport such small dimensions is no easy task, yet here it’s pulled off almost effortlessly. At least it seems that way. Simply watching the heros walk across the field brings a smile to my face. The added draw of discovering what other bizarre and wonderful creatures lurk just off-screen on higher difficulties is another big draw.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-04-05 :: Category: Games

fav4pixel_canabaltCanabalt
What impresses me so much about Canabalt is how minimal its visuals are. Aside from the main character, I mean. His animations are pretty spectacular. There’s no color and practically no fine details to the backgrounds, yet it manages to tell a rather harrowing story. It’s a world on the brink of destruction, under attack from seemingly invincible extra-terrestrial aggressors, all depicted through the use of various shades of gray and some silhouettes.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-10-02 :: Category: Games

fav4pixel_sworcerySuperbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Of all the worlds I’ve visited that can be expressed through “bits,” Sword & Sworcery‘s is definitely my favorite. It’s a world full of whimsical forests and foreboding caves. The magic floating in the pixelated air is almost tangible. And to say it’s gorgeous would be a rather terrible understatement. The warrior monk’s quest might be sorrowful (and a tad short), but it’s stayed with me ever since its completion.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-24 :: Category: Games

I think most people can agree that we probably don’t need quite as many first-person shooters on the market as we actually have. There are some great games to be had, sure, but with so much over-saturation it starts to become difficult to get excited about it. That’s why we’ve got a list of four of our favorite first-person games that aren’t shooters. They use the same perspective, and in some cases the same “floating hands” motif, but there are no firearms to be found. See? Just because a game is in first-person doesn’t mean it has to involve shooting stuff in the face.

fav4firstperson_darkmeadowDark Meadow
Okay, so technically you do shoot some stuff in the face here, but not in the traditional sense. That’s kind of a weird thing to say now that I think about it. Anyway the crossbow isn’t actually a gun, and it functions are more of a way to chip away at an enemy’s health before they close the gap. Dark Meadow is primarily a first-person adventure/action game with an emphasis on exploration and melee. A combination that ends up being pretty awesome.

$0.99
$5.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-06 :: Category: Games

fav4firstperson_thequestThe Quest
Now The Quest is definitely not a shooter. It’s an old-school inspired, first-person, turn-based RPG that isn’t afraid to force those who write about it to use lots of hyphens. It’s also an incredibly robust adventure that allows players to create a number of various custom characters and tackle the world and its various quests as they see fit. And that’s all before taking the ridiculous amount of expansions into account.

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-02-20 :: Category: Games

fav4firstperson_ravenswordRavensword: Shadowlands
If you were to ask any console gamers about first-person games that aren’t shooters, one of the first titles that would pop into their head would have to be either Oblivion or Skyrim. This is the iOS gamer’s equivalent. Ravensword is a huge RPG full of little nooks and crannies to explore and unique creatures to slay. It can, of course, be played in third-person as well but in this instance first-person is far superior.

$6.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-12-20 :: Category: Games

fav4firstperson_minecraftMinecraft – Pocket Edition
Betcha didn’t see this one coming. Minecraft is a lot of things to different people: gaming’s most amazing sandbox, a great way to be creative with friends, The Second Coming, a boring and over-hyped piece of junk, or even just “meh.” But what isn’t debatable is the fact that it’s one of the least shooter-y first-person games currently available on iOS devices. Not only is there little to no emphasis on shooting (plus there’s only a bow), but it’s a game that’s actually about building rather than destroying. At least for those who wouldn’t jump into another player’s game just to troll.

$6.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-11-17 :: Category: Games

Tons of people, myself included, talk about wanting to get healthy. Often that means taking up running. Of course the reality of the situation is that we almost never make good on those promises. That’s where this particular list comes in. For your consideration we have four apps that should, in theory, get you out and jogging. For real this time.

fav4running_rockmyrunRockMyRun
Music can be a big motivator for a lot of people. It can get the blood pumping and really gets us in the mood for doing stuff. RockMyRun is a collection of specially mixed tunes for runners from a variety of DJs from all over the world. Sure there’s always the option of listening to your own music, but why not try some tunes that have been specifically created to keep you running?

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-10-24 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

fav4running_runkeeperRunKeeper
RunKeeper is great for tracking progress for running, hiking, biking, etc. It features a number of detailed stats to monitor, lets users take photos to chronicle their activities, and will notify them when personal milestones have been reached. It’s full of useful features but what’s really bound to get me using it is the feature that lets me compare and compete with my friends.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-01-14 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

fav4running_walkathonWalkathon + Fitness Games
This particular app features a lot of games that can be unlocked via in-app purchase, ranging from fantasy kingdom construction to racing with friends. However, as motivating as gamifying running and walking can be, what’s really impressive is the way it automatically links with sponsors to make donations based on your activity. I mean, it is Walkathon after all.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-10-16 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

fav4running_zombiesrunZombies, Run!
Personally, I think Zombies, Run! is the app that will finally get me running. It doesn’t just turn jogging into a game, it turns it into an awesome and robust game. Constructing strongholds, completing quests, finding supplies, and running like mad from hordes of shambling corpses. It sounds awesome all by itself, but it’s powered by physical activity!

$3.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-02-27 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

Favorite Four: Bathroom Finders

We’ve all found ourselves in the unfortunate situation of being out of our element and desperately needing a toilet. It’s an awful scenario to be in; not knowing where to find one or how long you can hold out. For that very reason we’ve compiled a list of four restroom location apps that might not be super-versatile, but they can sure come in handy when they’re needed.

fav4toilet_publictoiletsPublic Toilets
This isn’t just a bathroom-finder, it’s an extensive database of close to 50,000 toilet locations across several different countries. Users don’t just find bathrooms with it, either. They can also submit their own entries, complete with photos and ratings, for everyone’s benefit. Just don’t go too crazy with the toilet pictures.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-06-30 :: Category: Reference

fav4toilet_wheretoweeWhere to Wee
It’s not as user-driven when it comes to submissions, but Where to Wee is still a handy at-a-glance restroom app. Not only does it display the necessary location info on a map, it also highlights the highest-rated toilets with a vibrant green icon. In addition to finding restrooms and displaying properly on the iPhone 5’s screen (yay!), it can also help roadtrippers and other out of towners find some nice out of the way spots to eat.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-07 :: Category: Lifestyle

fav4toilet_cantwaitCan’t Wait
Canucks (and tourists) rejoice! Can’t Wait is a Canada-centric toilet app that chronicles various porcelain thrones, displays their locations in relation to the user’s iOS device, lists amenities, and allows for submissions that can be shared with friends or all users. It’s the perfect app to have after a huge breakfast full of syrup and ham slices that they refer to as “bacon” for some odd reason.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-10-27 :: Category: Medical

fav4toilet_pottysPottys
Pottys offers up all the expected perks of a toilet app – locators, ratings, reviews, bookmarks, photos, and so on – with one interesting addition. Users can also earn “potty points” and achievements for performing various actions (using a restroom, submitting photos, etc). So with enough use it’s possible to become a Knight, Emperor, and so on. It effectively gameifies potty time.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-03-27 :: Category: Travel

Favorite Four: Comic Reading Apps

iOS devices are great for using as e-readers, iPads in particular. Besides being great for reading books and novels, they’re also ideal for comic book reading. Whether you’ve been reading comics for decades, or just discovering the magic within for the first time, here’s a look at four of our favorite apps for enjoying some of the best comics and graphic novels out there.

Comics
From Comixology, Comics offers a huge wealth of comic books. With a 30,000+ library of books, it’s the comic equivalent of iTunes which is pretty awesome indeed. There’s something for everyone’s taste here, with Marvel and DC residing happily alongside Disney, The Walking Dead, Star Trek and even My Little Pony. It’s simple to browse around and a web-based interface ensures purchases can be read anywhere.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-07-22 :: Category: Books

Marvel Unlimited
For those keen to buy individual comic books, Marvel Comics has things covered. For others who signed up to a Marvel Unlimited subscription and had to be restricted to only browsing on a PC or Mac, this recent app is a huge help. It’s not the finest of apps to navigate (although it works much better on the iPad), but the sheer wealth of comic books that can be read while on the move and for a fairly low annual fee, it’s well worth a look. It’s kept me entertained on many a journey, as helped by the read offline feature.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-03-07 :: Category: Books

Comics Unlimited
Offering a little bit of everything, amongst a subscription service and a way to check out freebies, Comics Unlimited is a jack of all trades. Archie, CSI, Transformers, Dragon Age and Grimm Fairy Tales all happily reside together on this service and flexible subscription options make it all the more appealing. It’s simple to browse too, with intuitive controls and an attractive layout.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2013-01-09 :: Category: Books

VIZ Manga
We’ve focused a lot on Western comic books, but there are plenty of great apps for Manga fans too. VIZ Manga is one of the best, providing a similar experience to Comics but with a focus on Manga. Naruto, Bleack, Death Note, Dragon Ball and many more are available here, with monthly free previews ensuring it’s easy to find something new to entice one in.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-11-02 :: Category: Books

Favorite Four: Writing Apps

Feeling creative and want to write an epic on your iPhone or iPad? We’ve got you covered with our favorite four writing apps. I’ve rounded up some of the best of the bunch, each helping users write all kinds of different texts, from the next bestseller to a formal letter. There’s even a great app for film scripting.

iA Writer
My personal favorite (I’m using the Mac version to write this article), ia Writer is ideal for the minimalist writer. Focused entirely on offering a simple and clear screen to enter text, it’s easy to get wrapped up into the words rather than distracted by status bars. That’s not to say it’s a basic app, though, with iCloud support and Dropbox integration ensuring users can get back to writing, no matter where they are.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-09-21 :: Category: Productivity

Pages
A great all-rounder, Pages is a fine word processing tool. It’s a little expensive but it offers plenty of functionality with a choice of 16 different and relevant templates, for projects such as simple letters to posters or reports. iCloud support is here, along with the ability to edit different document types including all the popular formats. There’s even basic functionality for creating pie charts and other diagrams. It’s suitably varied and full of features.

$9.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-04-01 :: Category: Productivity

Daedalus Touch
Returning to the minimalist trend, Daedalus Touch is ideal for those who want even more freedom for their words. No folders or file lists are needed here. Instead, users are presented with a virtual paper stack of sheets to navigate through with some very intuitive controls. For those looking to do more free writing and simply throw themselves into the words, Daedalus Touch is quite the delight. Plus, there’s syncing functionality with Mac app, Ulysses III.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-05-21 :: Category: Productivity

Contour
It’s quite a specific tool but Contour will prove to be ideal for those who always reckoned they had a great movie idea but didn’t know where to start. It’s a story development system that makes it easy to start small and grow big, with a fill-in-the-blanks style approach. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never had script writing experience, Contour will fix all that. Created by an Emmy Award-nominated writer, it’s got the pedigree to be worth taking note of, too.

$9.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-04-06 :: Category: Productivity

Favorite Four: At-a-Glance Weather Apps

Anyone who ventures outside with any regularity needs to know what the weather is doing, no matter how they get around. Thing is, people are often in a rush and need to either figure out how to plan for the day or wing it and hope for the best. For anyone who often finds themselves flying out the door and subsequently caught in the rain without an umbrella or sporting a thick coat in 60 degree temperatures, this list of at-a-glance weather apps is for you.

Weather Neue
What makes Weather Neue so great is that it pretty much embodies “at-a-glance.” As soon as the app starts up users are greeted with a screen displaying the current temperature and weather conditions, wind speed, and a peek at what the next three days will bring. All with a big, bold, easy to read presentation.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-07-03 :: Category: Weather

Climate Clock
It might seem odd to have this and Weather Neue in the same list since they’re so similar, but what sets Climate Clock apart is the way it displays information for most of the day on a single screen. Users can see how hot or cold it will be later on that evening, and even if they should think about bringing an umbrella, without touching a single menu option.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-12-13 :: Category: Weather

Daily Weather
It’s not as elegantly simple as some of the other apps on this list, but Daily Weather is still great for avoiding awkward weather situations. The current temperature, highs and lows, cloud cover, wind, humidity, and a general sense of what it feels like outside (i.e. “warm”) is all front and center. In a handy and familiar newspaper-style format, no less.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-08-28 :: Category: Weather

Beautiful Weather
It’s perhaps the most complex out of these four apps, but Beautiful Weather is still a cinch to use and great for figuring out how to dress. A title of the device and a single upward swipe will call up a window with virtually every bit of weather-related info the user would most likely want to know (temperature, conditions, high, low, humidity, moon phases, sunrise and sunset times, etc), along with random historical facts.

$999.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-04-29 :: Category: Weather

Problems sleeping is a major issue for many, myself included. Not getting a good night’s sleep means one’s productivity the next day plummets, plus you turn grouchy, irritable and no fun to be around. There’s no iOS app yet that will send you to sleep within seconds. There are, however, a few great options for helping wake you up in a more appropriate manner than through an incredibly loud alarm clock. Here’s my (sleep-deprived) look at four highlights of the bunch.

Suno
Recently reviewed, Suno offers the delights of a sunrise in order to gradually wake one up, and get the day going just right. It’s not quite as simple to navigate as one would like but, once set up, it provides a great, gradual sunrise, all lined up according to when you want to get up. It works best in a particularly dark room, of course.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-12-18 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

Sleep by MotionX
Analyzing everything possible in a bid to wake its users at just the right moment in their sleep cycle, Sleep by MotionX is a useful life aid. It’s just a matter of placing the iOS device on the bed with the app doing the rest. A graph facility makes it simple to see how one’s sleep is progressing over time. Even better, the app comes with daytime activities too, such as a pedometer feature and heart rate monitor.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-03-08 :: Category: Medical

Deep Sleep
Offering a form of relaxation therapy, Deep Sleep is a different change of pace to the other apps featured here. Through the voice of therapist, Andrew Johnson, users are guided gently to sleep through a series of meditational audio programs. Thanks to the soothing voice, it gradually calms the user, slowing their breathing down, thereby enabling them to relax and fall asleep. It might sound a little gimmicky but it can work impressively well.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-11-05 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

Sleep Cycle
It’s been quite the phenomenon since its launch nearly 4 years ago, but Sleep Cycle has remained relevant ever since. Solely an intelligent alarm clock, it does similar things to Sleep by MotionX but at a lower price. Tracking different phases of sleep, from light to deep sleep, the app works out the optimal time to wake you. It’ll even work out which days provide the best form of sleep. It’s both interesting and potentially very useful.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-07-23 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

I love grappling hooks in games. There’s nothing more pleasant than swinging around to get from place to place, because running is for chumps. Who wouldn’t want to swing around to get places? If Tarzan ran around everywhere, would he be as cool? No, he would not be. As such, I have collected 4 of the best games on iOS that feature this mechanic prominently in different ways.

Super QuickHook: Rocketcat Games has made three absolutely brilliant grappling hook games in its time on iOS, and they’re all brilliant, but this one gets the nod for featuring a great selection of endless swinging modes, where learning the optimal paths and coin locations is handy. This is along with its fixed levels, where trying to get fast times and collecting all the secret items becomes a challenge. But Hook Champ and Hook Worlds are both well worth a download.

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-06-17 :: Category: Games

Super Knights: Initially released under the far cooler Knights of the Round Cable title, this game features 360 degree swinging in an open arena. Collecting all the gems in their increasingly-complex patterns becomes the goal, and it becomes a challenge to try and do this while navigating all the hazards. The game also features plenty of upgrades and things to unlock while playing the game, enabling long-time players to get higher and higher scores. I have lost countless hours to this one.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-07-12 :: Category: Games

Gravity Hook: Here’s one that’s less about swinging horizontally with some vertical action, and more about grappling upward. The goal is to latch on to floating orbs, using them to launch upward without falling off the screen. Some of the orbs function as mines that activate when latched on to, or even if just contacted, and some orbs fall when latched on to! The game has a definite learning curve, one that takes a while to get down, but when it’s mastered, it’s absurdly satisfying.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-07-29 :: Category: Games

Rope ‘n Fly 3: From Dusk Till Dawn: Who doesn’t want ot swing around a city like Spider-Man, latching from rooftop to rooftop, flying through the air without a care? Well, perhaps there’s a care whenever one’s face hits the ground, but it’s a pretty sweet ride up until that point. That’s this game in a nutshell, a long-time iOS franchise that has multiple ways to grapple throughout the city. It’s not a looker but it’s a ton of fun.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-17 :: Category: Games

Favorite Four: Dog Ownership Apps

Having a four legged companion in your life is pretty wonderful for many of us. The unconditional love they offer is heartwarming and it’s great for one’s mental health, as well as exercise levels, to have an awesome pooch to take out for walks every day. We take a look at four apps that go some way to making dog ownership even simpler or more positive.

Positively Dog Training
Dog training is pretty great for all involved. You have a dog that behaves well and doesn’t get into trouble, and the dog knows exactly what’s expected of it. Everyone is generally happier. Positively Dog Training is an interactive ebook app that offers plenty of tips and instructions on how to train your dog to behave well, as well as learn some great tricks. A series of video tutorials and step by step instructions keep things straight forward so you can focus on getting everything right for your dog.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-12-13 :: Category: Books

Pet First Aid
Unfortunately, much like us humans, pets do get ill and injured sometimes. Pet First Aid is a guide to how to deal with various problems from cuts and burns to poisoning, drawing and even giving CPR to your dog. Plenty of videos, articles and instructions ensure that clear advice is easy to find here. it might just make the difference when dealing with a seriously ill or injured loved one.

$3.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-05-17 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

My Dog
It’s wise to keep safe plenty of important information relating to your dog, which is exactly what My Dog enables. The app makes it possible to store a photo of them, medical information, vaccination history and their ID details all in one place. At a glance, it’s easy to see when vaccinations are due (with iCal integration) plus anything specialist such as a dietary schedule or training log. It’s all easily emailed to other useful sources, too, such as a vet or boarding facility.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-11-05 :: Category: Lifestyle

Dog Park Finder Plus
Completing our selection is the rather fun Dog Park Finder Plus. The app offers information on more than 6,000 dog friendly parks and beaches across the US, along with over 12,000 dog friendly restaurant details. Directions are offered along with information such as opening hours and park size. It’s simple to use and there are photos and reviews throughout, so dog owners are guaranteed to find somewhere ideal for them and their pooch.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-08-30 :: Category: Travel

Favorite Four: Medical Aid Apps

An iPhone or iPad can be used for many different and fun purposes, it can also be used to help those in need of medical assistance. I don’t just mean in terms of being able to call 911, either. Here’s our look at four great apps that help assist users in some way, either through providing medical information or reminders just when they need it most.

RxmindMe Prescrption/Medicine Reminder and Pill Tracker
It’s not the newest of apps but RxmindMe is still a great one. The app is a prescription reminder service that should help keep track of all the medication that some people need to take. Nine different types of reminders mean it doesn’t matter if the medication needs to be taken every hour or even just on a particular day of the month, this app has its users covered. Further details mean it’s possible to track quantities, export information, take photos of the medication and search extensively for any FDA approved drug. Impressive going for an app that’s free to use.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-09-28 :: Category: Medical

iPharmacy
Want to know everything about a type of medication, from dosage and side effects to how it interacts with other drugs? iPharmacy should have you covered. The app does a little bit of everything with simple reminders, an encyclopaedia of drugs and relevant information about them, as well as the means in which to find the cheapest pharmacy to buy them. iPharmacy proves a handy guide to all the latest recalls and alerts too, keeping its users safe.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-06-17 :: Category: Medical

Glucose Buddy
For the diabetic, it’s vital to keep track of various important information such as glucose levels, carbohydrate consumption and insulin dosage. Glucose Buddy does all that and offers syncing options to keep such things safe. Graphs and logbooks make tracking everything a breeze, and safe and easy to demonstrate to a doctor when attending a regular check up. There’s integration with CalorieTrack, too, making it easier to log food and exercise details.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-10-28 :: Category: Medical

iTriage
While it’s ideal to go visit a doctor with concerns, it’s not always possible or convenient. iTriage offers advice for many symptoms, diseases and conditions, helping its users figure out whether they need to go visit someone or whether there isn’t a concern. Alongside such information, there are details on where to find the nearest ER or relevant clinic, as well as emergency hotlines and even an average wait time for certain facilities.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-02-18 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

I think Terminator lore might have gotten it wrong. Skynet wasn’t developed by the military, it was the natural progression of cloud gaming and AI functions. Most iOS users already take advantage of wireless data transference between devices, and there are a surprising number of games out there these days that involve very little player feedback. So think about that while taking a look at this list of games you can play without having to devote a lot of time or effort to the process. I mean who knows? Maybe the real Skynet is just a free-to-play sequel away…


Mega Mall Story
Kairosoft is pretty much the reigning champion of high quality (yet accessible) iOS sims. Their entire library is fantastic, as far as I’m concerned, but Mega Mall Story stands out as the least gameplay-intensive of the bunch. Constructing new shops and researching new mall technologies is important, but most of the time players simply have to sit and wait while their mini consumers consume and fill their virtual bank account with millions. Gotta love making money hand-over-fist for doing nothing.

$3.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-09 :: Category: Games

The Blockheads
This surprisingly entertaining mix between Minecraft and The Sims is its own reward, but it’s also pretty low-impact. Once players queue up a large list of actions, ranging from crafting multiple tools to hollowing out an entire cave system, they can just sit back and watch their tiny minion do their thing. Or not, since the latest update now allows the virtual prospectors to finish their actions even when the game is turned off.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-01-10 :: Category: Games

Rivals at War
I’m pretty sure I’ll catch a little flak from Carter for including this in the list but I’m willing to take that chance. Rivals at War is about as hands-off as a war game can get. Players construct a team of soldiers using cards, upgrade their abilities, swap them out for better killers when needed, and send them off to battle. Completely automated battles that don’t even have to be viewed if players would rather skip ahead to the results. Aside from occasional team maintenance there’s little player influence, which is great for some quick on-the-go play.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-03-06 :: Category: Games

Godville
Of course I’ve saved the best example for last. As far as I can tell, iOS games don’t get any more hands-off than this. Players get to name their character, who’s really a pawn that blindly follows their iPhone-toting god, and that’s it. The game does everything else – combat, quests, equipment, guilds, PvP, etc – on its own. Players can stop in and encourage or punish their follower as they see fit, but that’s about all they can do aside from simply checking in to see how things are progressing. It’s the ultimate game for people who don’t have a lot of time to commit to playing games.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-07-18 :: Category: Games

Favorite 4: March Madness 2013

Spring is (technically) here again, with the herald of college basketball’s annual tournament, the aptly-titled March Madness (though the final game is in April). There’s plenty of ways to enjoy the basketball mania from your iOS device. Here’s our favorite four apps for March Madness 2013.

NCAA March Madness Live: There’s an obvious choice for inclusion in this article, and that’s the app that lets you experience the madness live from anywhere. All the tournament’s games are available from this app. So watch a scrappy underdog from a tiny college try to beat a team with first-round draft picks working as towel boys. Or watch an additional game to the one on TV. Or get three iOS devices and watch all the games at once, even if it drives you…mad!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-09 :: Category: Sports

ESPN Bracket Bound: The other half of the fun during March Madness is filling out and following your picks for the 64 teams in the bracket. If you use ESPN, their app lets you track your bracket and see how well you’re doing. You can also compare your bracket with a variety of other sports analysts, celebrities, and even President Obama. You can also track scores, watch video from ESPN analysts about the games, and track the latest news from the tournament.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-03-14 :: Category: Sports

SideBets: Of course, anyone can make a bracket full of their wildest picks with no repercussions if they fail, sure. But what about if there was a little something extra behind it? Not real-world gambling because that’s illegal, right FBI? But you can legally bet something intangible: your pride. That’s what SideBets does, it lets you wager virtual currency with your friends on game results to see who wins. The app features actual gambling lines, so you can get the thrill of gambling on sports without the massive crushing financial losses and broken kneecaps from bookies you owe money to.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-08-10 :: Category: Sports

StarDunk: All the roundball action might get you thinking that you’re gonna want to go out and pound the rock a bit, show those youngsters how it’s done. This will probably not go well. Afterward, how about you instead play a game of virtual basketball? And since we’re playing virtual basketball, let’s go nuts and play a game of basketball…in space. Godzi Lab’s classic basketball game features plenty of fast-paced basketball shooting, basketballs with special properties, and online competition to try and take down. Regain some pride if your team gets knocked out or if your bracket gets busted.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-07-12 :: Category: Games

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